Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pollution, Contamination, Fertility - Oh, My!

I attended a professional organization's meeting yesterday and heard an amazing statistic from a fellow attendee. Denise Abmont, who sells wowgreen cleaning products (safe, non-toxic cleaners), said that before the 20th century 1 in 8,000 people got cancer. Today it's 1 in 3.  That's alarming!  Even with my usual cautiousness about interpreting statistics--thinking that way back then, people may have had cancer without knowing it--it's still a staggering difference.

Why is this so? To start, pollution, contamination, chemicals and worse get into the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we use. Dioxins and other chemicals escape from industrial plants and contaminate our air, water, animals, crops. Sadly, I don't see this stopping anytime soon. Our quest for the American dream and short-term returns on investments seem to be stronger and louder than respect for our planet, our bodies, and our very lives.

I remember scanning a lengthy report that came out of a summit meeting from a leading professional organization on reproduction in which they described the alarming (and increasingly negative) effects of pullutants and contaminants on reproduction – and not just on human reproduction. Other species were suffering too!

Here’s an interesting quote from the Global Cancer Report that came out of Geneva, Switzerland in 2004:
“In developed countries, the probability of being diagnosed with cancer is more than twice as high as in developing countries.  …The main reasons for the greater cancer burden of affluent societies are the earlier onset of the tobacco epidemic, the earlier exposure to occupational carcinogens, and the Western nutrition and lifestyle.”

The Western nutrition and lifestyle… Hmmm… In our upcoming book, The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook, I mention a new study that questions the safety of soft plastic water bottles, the kind you see everyone drinking out of. I won’t even mention all the crazy additives—not to mention sugar—that goes into the myriad of soft drinks out there.

It’s all very ugly. The least we can do to protect our bodies and ourselves is eat organic as much as possible (esp. for meat products and produce), stay away from ALL over-processed foods, check labels for anything unnatural, eat only the lean parts of organic meat and poultry, drink purified water only, avoid wheat and dairy, and use containers of glass, steel or aluminum instead of plastic.  All of this helps tremendously not only in aiding fertility, but in supporting our overall health and well-being too.

For the health of our planet, of course, there’s much more to do.